Giving In?

Senate to Drop Medicare Buy-In

The never-ending story of Senate Democrats' health-care wrangling took another step to the right on Monday, when Sen. Max Baucus came out of a 90-minute closed-door meeting and told reporters that scrapping the controversial Medicare buy-in proposal is looking likely. The provision would allow people between the ages of 55 and 64 to purchase Medicare coverage; Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested the idea as a compromise to the public option. Though many support the plan, the lone Democratic caucus sticker—Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent—remains stalwart, even as critics point to his support, during his 2000 VP run alongside Al Gore, of a similar plan. "Put me down tonight as encouraged about the direction these talks are going," Lieberman said after the meeting.